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Yankees' Stanton may be game-ready next week

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton could return to game action late next week, though the team hasn't determined whether he will go on a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment.

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NEW YORK -- Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton likely will be ready for game action late next week, though the team hasn't determined whether he will go on a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment.

Stanton strained his left hamstring while running the bases June 22 and went on the injured list for the eighth time in six years.

"I just got to stack here a few more days, good days together," Stanton said Saturday. "If I get a few good days this week, make a decision by the end of next week."

He missed his 21st game of the season Saturday after being out for 266 of 708 games (38%) in the previous five seasons.

"It's about the stamina, building it over and over each day," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I think he feels really good, but getting that volume under his belt to where he comes back, it's ready to roll. So yeah, now it's about just stacking days of putting it together."

Boone wasn't sure a rehab assignment will be needed.

"The level of things you're able to replicate now really do speed that clock up," he said. "And because you're not building stamina being out there for nine innings in the field necessarily, it's a little gray."

Stanton played in 69 of the Yankees' first 79 games -- none in the field -- and is hitting .246 with 18 homers and 45 RBIs. New York is 7-14 in his absence after Saturday's loss to Tampa Bay.

"Just being out in general sucks, and then not being able to help the team at all during any type of stretch, let alone a bad one," Stanton said.

Right-hander Clarke Schmidt threw a bullpen session Saturday for the first time since straining his right lat on May 26. Schmidt is expected back in late August or early September.

Right-hander JT Brubaker won't throw for three or four more weeks after straining an oblique muscle July 11 at Triple-A Scranton while on a rehab assignment following Tommy John surgery in April 2023.

Scott Effross also is at Scranton working his way back from Tommy John surgery in October 2022. He has made 10 minor league appearances, including eight at Triple-A.

"Still want to see him get to that level where he was before the injury," Boone said. "I don't feel like he's that far off from it."
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Joe Biden quits US presidential re-elections race

Biden confirms he will continue his duties as president and commander-in-chief until his term concludes in January 2025 and plans to address the nation this week

Published by Hussnain Bhutta

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Washington:  US President Joe Biden announced the end of his re-election campaign on Sunday after losing the confidence of fellow Democrats regarding his mental sharpness and ability to defeat Donald Trump, creating an unprecedented situation in the presidential race.

In a post on X, Biden confirmed he will continue his duties as president and commander-in-chief until his term concludes in January 2025 and plans to address the nation this week.

"It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as your President. While I intended to seek re-election, I believe it is in the best interest of my party and the country for me to step aside and focus solely on fulfilling my responsibilities as President for the remainder of my term," Biden wrote.

With Biden's exit, Vice President Kamala Harris is positioned to run at the top of the ticket, making her the first Black woman to do so in US history. Biden, 81, did not mention Harris in his announcement.

It remains uncertain whether other senior Democrats will challenge Harris for the party’s nomination, though she is widely seen as a favored choice among many party officials. The party's decision on whether to open the field for additional nominations is also unclear.

Biden's decision follows significant public and private pressure from Democratic lawmakers and party officials to withdraw from the race after a notably poor performance in a recent televised debate against Republican rival Donald Trump.

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Democrats are finally taking on Biden — and giving the party a chance to win

In late June, Democrats throughout the country simultaneously realized that their presidential nominee could no longer reliably speak in complete sentences.  Joe Biden’s age was no secret, but the extent of his cognitive and rhetorical decline had been closel…

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In late June, Democrats throughout the country simultaneously realized that their presidential nominee could no longer reliably speak in complete sentences. President Joe Biden’s age was no secret, but the extent of his cognitive and rhetorical decline had been closely guarded. The president spoke in public far less often than his predecessors. He repeatedly turned down Super Bowl interviews, rare opportunities to convey his message to a massive national audience. This limited calendar set off alarm bells among some pundits. Still, it was possible to imagine that the White House team was unduly risk-averse. Biden’s age was undoubtedly a liability, and his rhetorical chops significantly diminished, but maybe he was still okay. Given widespread doubts about his vice president’s electability, unifying behind Biden was plausibly the party’s best bet. Until it wasn’t. The president’s disastrous debate performance broke through Democrats’ collective denial. The simplest explanation had been the correct one: The White House had been hiding Biden from the public because he had something to hide. There was no precedent for the challenge this posed to the Democratic Party, and there was no straightforward mechanism for resolving it. For weeks, Democratic leaders floundered in search of a consensual path forward. Some entertained blindly following Biden into the wilderness. After some delay, however, party leaders prioritized their constituents’ interests in victory over their own desire to avoid blame or interpersonal conflict. Over the past 24 hours, it has become clear that the Democrats are in array. On Wednesday, ABC News revealed that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had personally told Biden last Saturday that he could best serve the party by getting out of the race. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries told him the same. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, told the president that polling showed he could not beat former President Donald Trump and that staying in the race would destroy Democrats’ prospects of winning back control of the House. When the president refused to take this advice, all three Democratic leaders evidently let word of their views leak. When confronted with reports of their private conversations with Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, and Jeffries all pointedly refused to deny the accuracy of such news stories. --- Understand the push to replace Biden President Joe Biden has come under mounting pressure from Democrats to reconsider his 2024 reelection bid. * Should Biden drop out? The debate, explained. * Can Democrats replace Biden as their nominee? * Who could replace Biden on the Democratic ticket? * Do other Democrats poll better against Trump than Biden? * What can we learn from incumbents who stepped aside --- Also on Wednesday, the film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg — who has served as Biden’s campaign adviser and conduit to deep-pocketed Democrats in Hollywood and finance — told the president that donors were withdrawing their support out of a conviction that he cannot win, a development that would make it difficult to sustain an adequate presence on swing-state airwaves through November. Around the same time, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) scrapped plans to formally confirm Biden as the party’s nominee in a virtual roll call vote next week. That event had initially been scheduled when it looked as though waiting until the Democratic National Convention in late August to officially nominate a candidate would deprive the Democratic nominee of access to the ballot in Ohio. But the DNC persisted with plans for a roll call even after Ohio passed a law resolving that issue. The virtual nomination process therefore came to be seen as a tool for Biden to run out the clock and foist himself upon a mutinous party. Schumer and other top Democrats implored the DNC to postpone the roll call, which is now scheduled for the first week in August. Finally, on Thursday, the Washington Post reported that former President Barack Obama had “told allies in recent days that President Biden’s path to victory has greatly diminished and he thinks the president needs to seriously consider the viability of his candidacy.” When asked about this revelation, a spokesman for Obama declined to deny it. This concerted pressure campaign from blue America’s most powerful political and economic actors appears to be paying dividends. The Times reported Wednesday that Biden has “become more receptive in the last several days to hearing arguments about why he should drop his re-election bid,” and “been willing to listen to rundowns of new and worrying polling data and has asked questions about how Vice President Kamala Harris could win.” On Thursday, Axios reported that several “top Democrats privately tell us the rising pressure of party congressional leaders and close friends will persuade President Biden to decide to drop out of the presidential race, as soon as this weekend.” Whether Biden does, in fact, step aside remains to be seen. But whatever the president does from here, the Democratic Party as an institution has done its part. Congressional leaders cannot drag Biden kicking and screaming from the campaign trail, but they are doing just about everything in their power to depose him and give their party a better chance of keeping Trump and his allies out of power. I’ve been critical of the Democratic leadership’s apparent complacency in recent weeks, but there is no question that Biden’s decline put them in a genuinely difficult position. American political parties are weak and disorganized. Power is much less centralized within national leadership than it is in most parliamentary democracies. And unlike parliamentary parties, Democratic congressional caucuses cannot remove politically damaged presidents through a vote of no confidence. Removing a presidential nominee — against their will, after they have already won an overwhelming majority of primary votes — is a task for which American parties have no manual. Thus, to mount a concerted campaign to push Biden to the sidelines, Democratic leaders had to be willing to stick their necks out, without the protection of any legitimizing precedent. It was entirely plausible that they might lack the will to do this. After all, the president did not bend in the face of his fellow Democrats’ doubts and attacked those calling for his exit as “bedwetters” and anti-democratic “elites.” Meanwhile, few in the party had much confidence in the electability of Vice President Kamala Harris, the Democrat best positioned to inherit the nomination should Biden step aside. And although Biden lost support in national public polls following his debate performance, Trump’s advantage stayed below 3 percentage points in polling averages. Harris has been performing slightly better than Biden in polls against Trump, but the difference is fairly marginal. Thus, for self-interested, risk-averse politicians, it would have been tempting to conclude that the party was going to lose no matter what they did, and it would be better to let Biden take the blame than claim ownership of Harris’s inevitable loss. Rejecting such fatalism required both commitment to the best interests of the party writ large and a modicum of sophistication in political analysis. Harris does appear most likely to inherit the Democratic nomination, should Biden step aside. And it’s true that she does not currently look like an especially formidable candidate. But her disapproval rating is lower than Biden’s. Voters’ views of her are less fixed. She therefore offers a higher upside. And when you are heading toward near-certain defeat with a candidate who’s been losing in swing-state polls for months — and is physically incapable of communicating effectively with the public — it’s better to roll the dice on a candidate with a higher ceiling, even if she has a potentially lower floor. That said, if Democratic leaders believe that the party could consolidate around a stronger standard-bearer — perhaps, one with a proven record of winning office in a swing state — they should work toward achieving that outcome. In any event, persisting with Biden would be profoundly damaging for the Democratic Party. It would force many Democrats to repeatedly tell a lie, and one that an overwhelming majority of voters recognize as such: that Biden is clearly fit to serve another four years as president. According to the Times, one recent internal Democratic poll indicated “that voters are deeply distrustful of elected officials who vouch for the president’s mental capacity and endorse him.” Whatever one makes of Harris’s odds, avoiding tainting down-ballot Democrats’ perceived integrity in the eyes of swing voters is grounds enough for making the switch. It is still conceivable — if doubtful — that Biden will refuse to step down. At this point, his persistence will tell us more about his personal pathologies than those of his party. Faced with an unprecedented political crisis, Democratic leaders unified behind a coherent strategy to advance the party’s best interests, in defiance of a president who struggled to recognize the unsustainability of his position. With Biden’s belated help, and further strategic ruthlessness, they will give their coalition a fighting chance to win in November. The Democrats are in array.
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